When you listen to Cloverdale author Jasing Louvel talk about her writing, it seems as if she always knew she would one day become a novelist.
Louvel writes every day — it’s a full-time job — and becomes so immersed in her craft that she has to be careful to remember to take breaks to eat and rest.
But to get to where she is today, to become confident enough in her work to call herself a writer, took a great deal of time.
“I always knew I wanted to write. Maybe not as a kid, but as a teen,” she told the Reporter. “But I also knew that wasn’t something I could do.”
“I had the desire but I didn’t believe I had the ability. I didn’t have the confidence. It was something other people did,” Louvel explained. “Other people went to the Olympics. Other people cured strange diseases. Other people wrote books.”
As she struggled with her longing to write, Louvel became an avid reader. She read everything, and a lot of it.
But “even as I’m reading, there’s a nagging voice in my head — ‘you need to write a book.’”
It wasn’t until she learned to draw, years later, that she would discover the confidence she needed to pursue the art of writing.
“After I learned to draw, something that I never thought I’d be able to do, I thought, ‘Hey, if I can do that, I can write.’”
She told herself, “You either write the book, or you never ever think about writing a book.”
So she sat down and wrote. It wasn’t easy — for a year, nothing she wrote made it past the first page. She went through ideas, experimented with different genres, tested out dialogue and scene.
“Then I thought — sci-fi. My brain just went crazy. The possibilities were endless,” she said. An avid science fiction reader herself, it was the perfect fit for her. “I wanted to write a book that I would want to read. At that time I was reading a lot of sci-fi, dystopian fiction.”
“I asked myself what would it take in our civilized world for the people around me —who are often kind, and co-operative and civic-minded people, thoughtful people — what would it take to create a kind of deep division between peoples that allowed us to accept a dystopian society. What would it take? That was my jumping off point.”
With that leap, she was off. She couldn’t write fast enough. Louvel, the Reporter discovered, has the enviable quality of not suffering from writer’s block. “I had to become very disciplined about, not [starting to] write, but stopping.”
“What I do suffer from,” she laughed, “is punctuation block.”
It quickly became clear that the book she had embarked on would need to be split into a trilogy.
“It started out as a big fat book and then it got fatter. And then I thought, I think I need to make it into two [books]. And then I went to make it two, and I knew, ‘It needs to be three,’” she said with a chuckle.
“It just evolved.”
The Joining Trilogy is a social sci-fi that “explores the appalling effects of an ancient legacy passed down for hundreds of generations,” one that has created “a society that lives by rules alone without compassion or love. And yet, sometimes, love finds a way,” said Louvel.
The first in the series, titled New Eden, follows five unusual people on the brutal planet of New Eden, a place where weakness is not tolerated. As their paths cross, some gain power and others are left disgraced. When all seems hopeless, two strangers appear with what might be the solution to a society without love.
New Eden, the culmination of decades of work, was published in 2017, and is available on amazon.ca as an e-book and a paperback. Holding a physical copy of the book in her hands for the first time was a “surreal” experience, she said.
“It was wonderful. I left my body a little bit.”
New Eden is both light and dark at turns, she said. “Book two is darker and lighter.”
The next in the series, Progeny, is expected to be released in mid-November.
For more information on the upcoming publishing date, visit thejoiningtrilogy.com.